Countdown to Retirement: Social Security Benefits
February 11 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
***Please note that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most programs are currently taking place virtually. If you need help accessing a virtual program, contact us at www.wrl.org/ask.***
Coming up on retirement? Unsure of what you need to know about Social Security and Medicare? You’ve paid into this system your entire working life. Now it’s time to figure out how to file, what benefits you can expect to receive, and much more! Attend this informative presentation with a Social Security public affairs specialist and get answers to all of your questions.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81211353403?pwd=TzlrSEhjdVlTSGw4bEl6RUdSVDBUdz09
Meeting ID: 812 1135 3403
- Topics include retirement, spouse benefits, widows’ benefits and Medicare.
Local SSA Field Offices are available to take calls from the public Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Here is a list of Tidewater VA offices including the Peninsula office — to find the number to any local Social Security Office online you can use www.ssa.gov/locator and provide your zip code for any office anywhere in the United States.
- Norfolk: 1-866-858-6089
- Virginia Beach: 1-888-377-5237
- Suffolk: 1-866-835-7769
- Portsmouth: 1-866-593-8551
- Newport News: 1-866-331-9169
- Hampton: 1-866-592-2669
For up to date information go to www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/.
Military and Social Security Links-
- SSA and Military Link from SSA’s website: www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/military.html
- Military Service and Social Security Publication
|Local Office Locator by ZIP https://www.ssa.gov/locator/|
|My Social Security Account www.ssa.gov/myaccount|
|Your Social Security Number www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/|
|Replacement SS Card www.ssa.gov/myaccount/replacement-card.html|
|Report Fraud https://oig.ssa.gov/report|
|Social Security Statement www.ssa.gov/myaccount/statement.html|
|Social Security Credits www.ssa.gov/planners/credits.html|
|Cost of Living Adjustments www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/Benefits.html|
|All Planners www.ssa.gov/planners/calculators/|
|Online Retirement Calculator www.ssa.gov/myaccount/retire-calc.html|
|Retirement Earnings Test Calculator www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/RTeffect.html|
|Life Expectancy https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/population/longevity.html|
|Deemed Filing https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01202|
|Survivors Benefits https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/survivors/|
To be eligible for retirement and Medicare benefits, you need to have worked and paid FICA taxes for at least 10 years or earned 40 credits during your working career. Your spouse may qualify on your record for spouse benefits and Medicare as your dependent. A worker can earn up to a maximum of four credits per year. The amount of your retirement benefit is based on how much you earned during your working career. Other factors may affect the amount you receive.
The full retirement age (FRA) used to be 65, but it is increasing depending on the year you were born. You can apply for benefits to begin as early as age 62. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be. The My Social Security Retirement Calculator compares your individualized retirement benefit estimates at age 62, full retirement age (FRA), and age 70 with various scenarios that you select. Retirement estimates are provided in written and chart form.
Social Security bases your benefits on your lifetime earnings. We adjust or “index” your actual earnings to account for changes in average wages. Benefits are related to your 35 highest earnings years (the number of computation years). If you have fewer than 35 years with earnings, then years of no earnings are included among the 35 computation years. A decrease or gap(s) in your earnings from work can result in a lower Social Security benefit amount. You will find detailed calculation instructions and a worksheet at Computing a Retired-Worker Benefit.
Can I enroll in Medicare during my Special Enrollment Period? 3 options on how to enroll during COVID-19
If you already have Medicare Part A and wish to sign up for Medicare Part B under the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and are over the age of 65, please complete form CMS 40-B, Application for Enrollment in Medicare – Part B (Medical Insurance) along with the CMS L564-Request for Employment Information and gather proof of employment, Group Health Plan (GHP), or Large Group Health Plan (LGHP).
You have three options to submit your enrollment request under the Special Enrollment Period. You can do one of the following:
- Go to Apply Online for Medicare Part B During a Special Enrollment Period and complete CMS-40B and CMS-L564. Then upload your evidence of Group Health Plan or Large Group Health Plan.
- Fax your forms to 1-833-914-2016.
- Mail your CMS-40B, CMS-L564, and evidence to your local Social Security field office.
Note When completing the CMS-L564
- State on the form “I want Part B coverage to begin (MM/YY)”
- If possible, your employer should complete Section B.
- If your employer is unable to complete Section B, please complete that portion on behalf of your employer without your employers signature and submit one of the following forms of secondary evidence:
- income tax form that shows health insurance premiums paid;
- W-2s reflecting pre-tax medical contributions;
- pay stubs that reflect health insurance premium deductions;
- health insurance cards with a policy effective date;
- explanations of benefits paid by the GHP or LGHP; or
- statements or receipts that reflect payment of health insurance premiums
Due to the pandemic, Social Security offices are not open at this time for in-person service. Many transactions can be completed online at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices. Our representatives remain available by phone. If you need to call your local office, you can find the phone number using our online office locator. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.